There is always a lot of discussion flying around abou this area's best pizza, or wings. As I don't really give a crap about pizza or wings, I would like to pose the same question for another dish. I am an enormous fan of Ma Po Tofu. I get cravings for its belly warming tastiness nigh fortnightly and probably consume it once every couple of weeks, having obtained it from a restaurant or having whipped up a homemade batch of dubious quality. Ma Po tofu is a common enough dish and you will find it on most "Chinese" menus, so I don't thing the question is too obscure.
My vote for the best goes to Ala Shanghai. I haven't posted about the place as local writers/bloggers have provided a wealth of opinons/reviews and I haven't felt the need to chime in. This said, I have become a near regular of the place (probably been there 10 or so times). I most recently visited on my darling daughter's second birthday (it seems to be her favorite too, when we drive into the lot she starts yelling, "noodles!").
I actually got Ma Po tofu on the mind due to the fact that I didn't order it at my last visit. Even though the other dishes were delicious,
we had: Spicy Fish Bellies
also: Tong Po Pork (spelling?) The belly of another species. It was a belly kind of night.
my belly was still calling out for the Ma Po.
Francis from "Cooking With Dog" offers a good home solution, and Albany Jane has weighed in on the topic as well. I have had decent results with the Amoy Brand Ma-Po tofu sauce (available at most Asian markets). None of my attempts have matched the taste and texture of Ala Shanghai's offering. So I am wondering, are there any other tofu fans out there? Can anyone direct me to a hidden gem of a restaurant that offers a worthy dish of Ma Po Tofu?